The grass is cut, the fields are lined and the teams are ready for the season to start. This time of year might be the most anticipated in high school sports, the opening week of football season.

The KATO Game of the Week to start the season is Payson at Safford. The Bulldogs will be looking to start the season on the right foot as they have one of the toughest schedules in 3A. Safford will unveil a new offense with a stable of young running backs. We will see if the beefed up O-Line can lead the way. You can hear this game on KATO 1230 AM or on

Willcox at Thatcher
The defending 2A State Champion Thatcher Eagles will open the season against the Willcox Cowboys. Thatcher put up over 60 points last season on the Cowboys. Willcox brings a new attitude with first year head coach Alonzo Highsmith, but this will be a tall task for his young Cowboys.

Miami at Pima
The Roughriders return QB Josh Whittaker but gone are the twin towers at receiver. Can the offense click with the new WR core or will they rely on the experienced offensive line and running backs to pound the football this year. A win vs Miami could start a 5 game win streak with a light early schedule for the Riders.